Timothy James Quinn

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rice U.

Grant number

Gr. 10023

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Quinn, Timothy (Rice U.) "Queer Chemicals: Intimate Experiments with Preventative HIV Medications in Bangkok"

This project will study the circulations of HIV prevention drugs in Bangkok. The emergence of state-manufactured PrEP is situated at intersections of health governance and Thailand’s attempts to position itself as a hub for medicine and tourism within a regionalizing Asian economy. Health programs target populations of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and transgender sex workers (TSWs), while PrEP promotion capitalizes upon emerging bioeconomies and LGBT markets in Asia. PrEP also has its own social life as it moves through regional queer circuits, redefining perceptions of risk, while enabling new relations and pleasures. This project follows PrEP as it circulates within and beyond the formal infrastructures that have emerged to proffer, facilitate, and govern its use. Drawing from anthropological literature on pharmaceuticals, chemical relations, and sexual subjectivity and ethics, this project aims to generate a framework for understanding the chemo-material underpinnings of these forms of sovereignty and sexual modernity. Through fieldwork across an HIV policy institute, an LGBT health clinic, a community center, and queer events, this project will study how PrEP is repurposed in the fashioning of subjectivity, relation, intimacy, and care. What kinds of social worlds are created through human entanglements with this particular chemical commodity chain?